In this season most given to graduations and weddings, these milestones of momentous effort and commitment, these two words, readiness and opportunity, are worth a look. The story of Joseph, eleventh son of Israel (Jacob), is stuffed with scores of lessons on character, faith, perseverance, prophetic direction and protection, and that is just the beginning of a great list from a great life. Yet readiness and opportunity are huge factors from his life well lived.
We’ll pick one of these inspirations, from Gen. 45:8 ‘So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.’
Extraordinary! From vengeful, ruthless brothers selling him into slavery; from a lying adulteress having him unjustly imprisoned; from an ungrateful cell mate forgetting to return a great blessing with a little consideration; to this, ‘a father to Pharaoh, lord of all Pharaoh’s house, and ruler over all Egypt.’ Beyond astonishing!
So many, too many lessons from this noble life to go into here, but let us capture and practice this - Joseph was not the winner of some random lottery of good fortune - he was in this place by the hand of God and his own preparedness.
Whatever hardships and setbacks life heaped upon him; whatever undeserved pain and misfortune brought to him from the nastiness of others; whatever bewilderment and conflicts of faith he battled internally from being so out of control of self determination; no matter, he thrived as much as possible wherever he landed, fair or not, positive or adverse. It wasn’t from finishing school he launched into the upper echelons of Pharaoh’s court. It was from dank prison. Conditions are important, yet most important are not conditions, but being of right character whatever our conditions.
It is easy for us to see the quick success of some and be deceived into falsely thinking that it’s got to be fast or we’re doing nothing, going nowhere. Or, misjudge our own pace by the flash of the meteor, and give up, thinking our time is gone, and succumb unnecessarily to a numbing existence of just getting by. Or worse, speed past the requisite formation of character and good practice it takes for longevity in success, and end up rushing to a wreck. Ours. And with all this, to forget God has a will for our lives, and we either board that train or waste our purpose and giftedness on the wrong track.
Joseph took the quick leap from prison because he had taken the long walk of forming character and readiness.
And destiny favors the prepared.